Chaplain to the Chaplains

Russ Cockrum has been a hospital chaplain, police chaplain, motorcycle chaplain, soldier, pastor, and presbyter. Now, at the age when most men are contemplating retirement, he is adding a new job to his portfolio: the first representative to missionary chaplains. Cockrum will be in a pastoral role to Chaplaincy missionary families, and missionary associates from around the nation. These missionaries are in diverse ministries such as motorcycle, trucking, rodeo, orphan care, prison evangelism, human trafficking, and rock climbing. What they have in common is that they must raise their own support, which Cockrum has been doing for 15 years as an AG U.S. missionary chaplain.

A Pioneer in Ministering to Inmate Families: Mannie Craig

Manford "Mannie" Craig grew up in Maine and sensed a calling to become a missionary at age 16. He figured that meant service to a foreign country, because that's the only kind of missionary he heard about in the 1950s at Assemblies of God church services, prayer gatherings and camp meetings. In Springfield, Missouri, in the mid-1960s, Craig graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology from Central Bible College and a master's degree in theology from Central Bible College Seminary. Upon the advice of Assemblies of God institutional chaplain representative Paul Markstrom, Craig served a year in a psychiatric clinical internship at Menninger Clinic in Kansas.

He Knows Your Name

Chaplain Sheri Ray never expected to be ministering in Africa. "I had gone on missions trips to Asia," she says. "But I knew Africa would be a far more rigorous ministry experience." The opportunity for the St. John's Hospital chaplain from Springfield, Mo., to connect with hundreds of women at two East African conferences came unexpectedly. Ray had called the Assemblies of God Southern Missouri District to ask about the trip for a friend, and ended up being recruited to the team.